1: Can we meet you?
name is Makinde Ayodeji, a lawyer by training but by passion, an artist,
painter, writer and entrepreneur.
Question 2: How did law land you in drawing
Good question, I’ve been drawing from the moment i started putting pen on
paper. Let’s just say, it runs in my blood, it’s been a journey of close to
18years now. I started drawing right from my primary school, straight through
secondary school and up to my university days at Obafemi Awolowo University.
Really it would have been a great delight for me to have studied Fine Arts as a
course in the university. However, at that time (going down memory lane) there
wasn’t any teacher teaching Fine Art as a subject in my secondary school, JAMB
was around the corner, looking for a way out, i opted for law considering the
fact that Government was one of my best courses in my secondary school
days. Perhaps, then i wasn’t really so keen about going to study what i had
passion for, i saw it as just an hobby but now i know better. So in a way, Law
was my course of study but Fine Art was my passion. Going to the Fine Art
Studio occasionally during my campus days always gave me a refreshing
inspiration and reminded me of the artist locked up on my inside. It was always
a delight going there and seeing the magnificent works of art, the oil on
canvass and the sculptures.
Question 3: In what ways have you been able to
nurture your talent?
i don’t draw again like i used to. Law as a profession is time consuming. You
could read your life out (laughs). Law school crazy! University days and law
school days took so much out of me. What i did as time went on was to
establish an organization- Divine International which produces comics and uses
it as a tool for societal reformation with a key focus on the youth populace.
At present i do the writing of the comic scripts but i contract the drawing
out. I do the supervision to make sure the art work is up to the taste of the
comic industry because the standards are getting higher every day. So, in a way
i do more of writing these days. Its one thing to have a comic book with tight
graphics, its another ball game to have a great story, a well scripted work. A
balance is what i seek to achieve- a comic with tight graphics that has a
compelling storyline to accompany it
4- where do you draw inspiration?
a child of two worlds. The literary world of writing and the world of comics.
For the literary world, I am continually inspired by the works of icons like
Tedd Dekker, Ngugi wa Thiong’o (the foremost Kenyan Writer), Prof. Wole Soyinka
fondly called Kongi and the legend and master of intrigue- Robert Ludlum! I
have my library stocked with his books. I never read a Ludlum Novel without
screaming in the middle of the pages (laughs). He has a powerful way of
springing surprises and capturing his readers’ attention from the start. In the
world of comics, Marvel Comics continually inspires me. Turning a Marvel Comic
page, the pages suddenly comes alive. Their drawings are always with a depth of
detail. My favourite Marvel Hero remains -Spiderman! His famous
line-‘with great power comes great responsibility’ strikes me deeply from
within. Ultimately, I am inspired by the need to impact this generation
positively using comics as a tool. For me it’s not all about the glamour and
tight graphics alone but about transferring the right values.
5- Tell us about Distorted and why the name?
tells the story of life’s puzzles as seen through the eyes of a young man-
Jasper Alison. Born of a Nigerian father and an American mother, his life takes
a turn for the worse when his mother died during child birth. His father became
a politician afterwards and neglected the nurturing of the children. Life soon
becomes an experiment for Jasper. He continually asks-what’s the essence of
family? Losing all sense of belonging to a family, he is lured into a very
powerful secret society; the Brotherhood of the Blackstar by a friend-George.
They soon become best of friends. However, all hell is let loose when George’s
gang rapes Jasper’s only sister- Louise. Jasper soon becomes insatiably thirsty
for vengeance. A thirst which back fires and sets the Brotherhood running after
his life. The complexity of the events and the sparks that follow after this is
what set ‘Distorted’ rolling. So, that’s Distorted at a glance (laughs). And
the title…’Distorted’ is actually
two sides of a coin. On one side the title means- life is one distorted puzzle
without the ‘God Factor’. On the other side it symbolizes the complexities of
the mysteries been unraveled in the story.
6- What Digital tools help in developing your work?
I’m not involved in the drawings of our (Divine International) comic books
again. Basically, I think a lot of artists feel comfortable drawing on paper
instead of drawing direct on the computer using a stylus. The penciling and
inking is done on paper, it is scanned into the system and painting is done
using Photoshop, although new softwares are evolving every day.
7: Advice to others?
big!!! Nothing is impossible. Limitations are only creations of the minds. Go
beyond them. Expand your mind. Be persistent in pursuing your dreams. You will
be amazed to hear that ‘Distorted’ took me five solid years to see through to
publishing. Five years of sticking to the vision, hearing only sounds of
discouragement on every side. I’ve received a thousand ‘NOs’, had my scripts
rejected, made costly mistakes that resulted in huge loss of money and almost
grounded the project but all these couldn’t kill my fighting spirit. There is a
sense of deep fulfillment that comes with pursuing your passion. One day of
breakthrough will make up for all your waiting years. No matter how long the
night stays, there will always be a breaking of the day. Everyman’s daybreak
will come but many give up too easily before it comes.
8- contact details?
Phone no: 08155575144/ 08062322541. Twitter-@comicsdi